The India-France partnership is “universal” as it goes from the “sea to the space”, France’s Ambassador-designate to New Delhi Thierry Mathou said on Monday, vowing to work towards further strengthening it.

Thierry Mathou’s comments came shortly after he arrived in New Delhi. He succeeds incumbent Emmanuel Lenain. In his arrival message, Thierry Mathou also quoted 19th-century French historian Jules Michelet who described India as “the matrix of the world”.

“I am taking office at an exceptional time. This year is not only an opportunity to celebrate the length and depth of the relationship between our two nations.

“It is also the moment that has been chosen to look towards the future by setting the course of our partnership for the next 25 years up to 2047 which will celebrate the centenary of India’s independence and of the diplomatic relations between France and India,” Thierry Mathou said.

He also hailed India’s approach of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam — One Earth, One Family, One Future” during its G20 presidency.

“I want to tell you how happy and proud I am to be in India, a country I have been visiting so many times since my first trip here more than 40 years ago, a country once described by Jules Michelet, a famous French historian from the 19th Century as “the matrix of the world,” he said.

“It is exactly how I feel about India and why it was so obvious for France to embrace the concept of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ — One Earth, One Family, One Future- proposed by India as the outlook of the recent G20 Summit,” he said.

The French Ambassador-designate said the Summit gave an opportunity to “our leaders” to assess and review the progress in bilateral relations since the historic visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Paris last July as the Guest of Honour of the French National Day.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron held a bilateral meeting on July 10 on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Delhi.

Thierry Mathou said his role is now to implement with “determination and ambition” the roadmap adopted by the leadership of the two countries to strengthen the partnership.

The roadmap is structured around three pillars, he said, explaining that it is a “partnership for security and sovereignty” which has a particular meaning with France and India being two major stakeholders in the Indo-Pacific region.

Thierry Mathou said it is also a partnership for the planet and global issues which is essential to meet the challenges of climate change, and a partnership for the people.

“I look forward to working with Indian authorities and civil society to translate the vision of our leaders into action and further promote our shared values of liberty, equality and democracy,” Thierry Mathou said.

“Our partnership is strategic. I also like to describe it as universal as it goes from the sea to space! I am thrilled to embark on this journey with all of you,” he added.

The ambassador-designate said the roadmap adopted by the leaders of the two countries is very concrete as it is intended to translate into numerous programmes and projects.

He said the roadmap will result in training new generations of Indian students in France, create tens of thousands of new jobs in India where French companies are already very active and fully committed to the Make in India motto and bring together the scientists and engineers of the two sides to advance research and technology in all fields.

Thierry Mathou said India has so much to offer to the world including contributing to peace, security and development in the region.